How to Replace a Motion Sensor Porch Light

A motion sensor porch light can be used to provide sufficient lighting to the porch and at the same time add security to that area. When the old fixture is no longer working, or you prefer to change it to a larger model, the process does not need to be done by a professional; it is an easy DIY project and you can do it yourself.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Voltage tester
  • New motion sensor porch light
  • Chair or ladder
  • Wiring equipment
  • Lint-free cloth

Step 1 – Shut Down the Power Supply

Locate the circuit breaker for the fixture and turn it off. Access the fixture bulb using a ladder or a chair and remove the bulb. Cover the bulb with a lint-free cloth before twisting it carefully counterclockwise. Set it aside. Test the socket for voltage by touching one probe of the voltage tester to the metal tab in the center and one probe to the brass metal on the internal side.

Step 2 – Remove the Fixture

Locate the screws holding the sensor light to the base and remove them. Pull out the fixture carefully off of the base. As soon as it is removed, the wires connecting it to the power supply should be seen. Remove the wire nuts connecting and covering the connection between wires by twisting them carefully counterclockwise. Remove any electrical tape that may be wrapped around them as well. Do not touch the bare wires yet. Use the voltage meter to test if current is present.

Disconnect all the wiring connections carefully. The bare copper wire should be hooked to the ground screw on the fixture. Unhook it properly to disconnect it. If there are any other straps, brackets or other types of mounting hardware on the electrical box, remove them accordingly. Remove the fixture out of the wall.

Step 3 – Install the Mounting Hardware

If the replacement comes with a set of mounting straps or brackets, install them into the electrical box according to manufacturer’s instructions. If the replacement comes with a rubber gasket, insert the power supply lines into one of its holes and hang it in there prior to fixture installation.

Step 4 – Connect the Wires

Hook the ground wire from the power supply cable into the ground screw on the new fixture. Connect both pairs of hot and neutral wires from the supply cable and the replacement with wire nuts. Tuck the wires inside the electric box.

Step 5 – Mount the Replacement

Align the replacement to the rubber gasket and the screw holes. Insert the screws and tighten them to secure the new light fixture to the socket base. As soon as the replacement is firmly mounted, adjust the light to face the preferred direction if it is movable.

Step 6 – Configure the Sensor

Check the manual for instructions on how to configure the delay time and sensitivity of the device. The controls for these features should be located at the bottom part or base. When everything is set, turn on the power supply and test the installation.